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The Brickskeller

The BrickskellerThe Brickskeller

Taps: 12 / Bottles: 1000
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
84
good

187 Ratings
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 21.14%
$$$ - a bit pricey


[ Bar, Eatery ]

1523 22nd St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20037-1005
United States
phone: (202) 293-1885
// CLOSED //



Notes:
A new bar has moved into the location with a similar beer menu: Bier Baron Tavern Beer Bar.
 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/25169 

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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 187
Reviews by jdoncbus:
Photo of jdoncbus
jdoncbus

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Was in DC on the weekend of Sept. 7th to visit my brother in law and his wife, fortunately for me he enjoys drinking beer and happens to live about a block from The Brickskeller in Dupont Circle.

Interior is an old school, wood dominated, 1950s look to it with a lot of beer memorabilia adorning the walls. I guess the guy at the door manages the crowd size and luckily there was plenty of room. We were seated in the back on a riser which happened to be extremely hot, as mentioned earlier the place is older and most likely does not have the best ventilation so we switched seats. The place has a good number of servers (overwhelmingly female) and I felt bad about the gal losing tips so when she moved us I slide her some cash. The service was quick and they came back every five minutes to check if you needed more brew.

The place specializes is bottled beer and they have plenty of 'em. There were about 8 beers on draft that I have had before and I recall Bell's Oberon on tap which sounded awesome since it was so stuffy in the place but I wanted to try new offerings (should brought a pen and paper to review). I picked up a Southern Tier IPA and a Green Light IPA (thought the latter was better with the west coast hop blast) - I think they were only $4 a piece; which for a big city like DC is a steal. If it had been cooler in the venue, we would've stayed much longer but in the end we split to get some fresh air. If we visit my bro-in-law in the winter I will spend about 8 hours in the place.

You are on the BA because you love beer and if you are in DC - do yourself a favor and check this place out. If only Columbus, OH had a place as cool as The Brickskeller, cannot wait to come back.

09-18-2007 12:53:11 | More by jdoncbus
More User Reviews:
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$

After hearing about this place through locals and seeing that they have over 1000 beers, I was hoping that it would be wicked awesome and become my go-to pub as I don't really have one in the DC metro area. The beer list was a bit more mainstream of the more popular international brews. I was hoping for more rare gems, but that never happened. Maybe there's a brew or two on tap worth trying out. I didn't mind that the place looks like it is already closed by the way it is kept up and barely any lights on inside. The worst part though is the service. It seriously seems like everyone there either hates their job or just anyone that actually comes in and forces them to work. I look forward to checking out the Bier Baron for the first time ever and see how much this place has (supposedly) improved!

02-18-2011 20:55:03 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of GregKeith
GregKeith

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$

I've been here a few times over the past several months and it's a mixed bag. First time - upstairs - was not impressed. Shabby and the waitress was slow and clueless on a slow night. Beer selection is extensive but not the 1,000 varieties they promise. I vowed to never go back.

But I was talked into it a few weeks later and it was a much better experience downstairs. The bartender - Eve - is about the most knowledgeable beer person I've ever met. I gave her hints about what I liked and she knew just the beer for me to try. She's a walking beer encyclopedia.

It's still shabby and the bathroom looks and smells like the toilet in Trainspotting. However, last time I was there I sat next to a man who claims he is part of an ownership group that has bought the place and will be refurbishing it. I told him to make sure they didn't overdo it and kill it's charm and - for God's sake - don't lose Eve. Apparently, she's getting a deserved promotion to Beer Director. Let's see how they do.

12-28-2010 21:12:25 | More by GregKeith
Photo of bamojr
bamojr

Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$

I enjoyed this bar a great deal. Their selection is quite good. All of the drafts that I had were from well known companies and a very nice selection. The bottles are what most come for with their utterly huge variety. We did run into them being out of a few, and as I have seen from other people this tends to be a problem. It is understandable however that it is hard to keep that large a quantity in stock. The bartender was knowledgeable and fairly friendly. Overall, this is a great place and I will defiantly be back.

11-15-2010 20:25:27 | More by bamojr
Photo of decadance
decadance

Texas

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$

Its a dirty bar, and the bathroom smells so bad it burns your eyes.

They do know their beer though. The selection is not fantastically stellar, and everything listed in the bottle menu is not available, largely because (according to my waiter/manager) they print the menu 3 times a year and keep seasonals on past their time. I knew I wasn't getting backwoods bastard, but I did get the Founder Breakfast Stout (which was not even on the menu).

Food was pub food. Service was decent. The prices are a bit nutsy for somethings (23$ for Maharaja bomber?!), but overall, this and RFD are where you should go in the DC area.

09-04-2010 11:48:27 | More by decadance
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5 | $$$

The idea behind Brickskeller is genius. Over 1000 beers to choose from. Guinness World record holder for best selection.

Yah yah yah fuck you.

I know they made all those bottles available for sale to obtain this record and that it is unlikely for this record to be surpassed. However, during your visit to Brickskeller please plan for several choices whenever the wait staff decides to get around to taking your order. My latest strategy has been to decide on a brewery and ask the server which beers they actually have. Typically 50% of the offerings on the Beer List will be out of stock. Another fun fact is the potential to receive a bottle that has been in room temperature storage for months, that has been dipped in an ice water bucket to give the illusion of being chilled. Hooray selection!

Experience with the staff is hit and miss as I have had servers that knew what was in and out of stock before leaving the table and then bartenders that could care less about what I thought of the beer or even giving me the time of day to order. Also, they have food, but I would definitely spend your money elsewhere.

With so many new beer bars popping up throughout DC/NOVA I would definitely go somewhere else to lay down the bucks. My constructive criticism for Brickskeller is to make a new Beer List with what they ACTUALLY carry. You own the record, now own up to what you have become.

08-22-2010 19:41:20 | More by Jimmys
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5 | $$$

Was here while catching a Nats game in DC.

The vibe is kinda college scene, but it does come off tacky. Lots of old beer cans along the walls, but it makes the place look cheap morew than trendy.

The service was impressive. I've seen some negatives in other reviews. I guess it depends on the server; ours was very knowledgable. The selection is insane, though they will be out of some so plan on a backup.

The food was "okay" I guess, but clearly you are here to drink. Don't expect great food. The pricing was higher than normal but you are paying for the beer options.

I thought it was cool, and worth the trek.

08-15-2010 20:57:05 | More by socon67
Photo of IMZep
IMZep

Maryland

3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$

As a DC native, I often feel the need to defend this place but it gets tougher with each visit.

Old beer cans on the wall and various beer signage will give a brief smile to the beer-lover but overall the atmosphere is a bit dingy, probably still barely fitting into the "faux-dive" category. I tend to sit "upstairs," as I find it cleaner and less-crowded.

The fabled List is impressive, but isn't backed up by their store room very well, as others have noted. I often come prepared with backup choices that leave me with my third or fourth choice.

The service varies. I once had a waiter who seemed to know The List backward and forward and was well-equipped with suggestions and knew which beers they were out of, so no unhappy surprises after waiting 15 minutes to get the beer you ordered. On my recent trip, however, the waiter seemed completely clueless as to what was available and what wasn't; not even prepared to take backup orders on the spot. Then there's the waiting. Probably due to being such a popular place, even a good server can take a while getting your beer to you. I like to think that the wait times are due to them rummaging around for that last bottle of Schneider Aventinus, but I really can't say. And then you're left paying $7 for your third choice. They have the occasional $3-4 stuff, but why go to the Brickskellar for something you can find at your local grocery/liquor store?

Food is decent, but I'm not sure who goes to the Skellar for food.

If you're visiting DC, it might be worth stopping in to see what the fuss is about, but it's not the first beer bar I'd recommend.

07-30-2010 16:57:11 | More by IMZep
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

2.34/5  rDev -36.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$

Visited here on a trip to DC.

This place stinks.. I mean it really smells bad. at least the downstairs bar. The atmosphere is dark and with an old time feel. Alot of old beer cans on the wall. Coolers full of beer and about 12 taps and a handpump I believe. A small bar with seating for 13 or so, an area in the back for larger parties and a kitchen you can see in o. I guess the lines are clean thats what counts, the rest of this place just looks drab. The service on my short visit was not very memorable. I looked at the tap menu and said hey this is a "pretty good" list and than I was called a snob in more words than one. I ordered a Southern Tier XXIPA, what I got was nothing but this, it was a weird wit, not the same beer. I looked at the bottle list and while big I could see that some of what was on there was not in the coolors in front of me. There is alot of beer here though. WORST BATHROOM EVER. It stunk and made me want to vomit. No need to order food here, I can hardly stomach the smell, no need to order more beer, I already got put in my place and got a nasty wit for a DIPA. No need to come back, I think I get the jist. The only reason I did not fail this place is because there is beer there that I want to rescue and give a loving home to. NEXT...

07-14-2010 01:14:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of brewman63
brewman63

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +27.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

Stopped in here a couple of times while vacationing in DC over the weekend. Luckily it was within a short walking distance of where we stayed. This place has great ambiance. It's located in the basement where all us "skeller-dwellers" belong. The beer selection is fantastic. It helped me eliminate a couple of brews that have been on my "haven't found it anywhere yet" list. The only drawback was some of the beers I wanted to sample where temporarily out of stock. That can happen from time-to-time. The bartender is a walking encyclopedia of beer knowledge. Sit at the bar and talk to her about any beer they have and she'll probably be able to give you some kind of intelligible answer. We only had appetizers while we were there and they were okay, nothing special. But let's face it - you don't come here for the food.

06-09-2010 15:33:27 | More by brewman63
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The Brickskeller in Washington, DC
84 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.